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Author Topic: Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer featured in Forbes  (Read 13645 times)

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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2013, 16:22 »
-1
What if he doesnt have to be forced? WHo says Oringer himself is not wanting more profit? And with the majority of stock, he can do as he pleases, good or bad.

His actions over the last 8 years say so.

Why are so many of you miserable, pessimistic doom-merchants? SS is growing, our incomes are going up and we have a trustworthy man at the helm. You can even buy stock in the business if you want to and attend shareholder meetings. What's not to like?


Poncke

« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2013, 16:25 »
-1
What if he doesnt have to be forced? WHo says Oringer himself is not wanting more profit? And with the majority of stock, he can do as he pleases, good or bad.

His actions over the last 8 years say so.

Why are so many of you miserable, pessimistic doom-merchants? SS is growing, our incomes are going up and we have a trustworthy man at the helm. You can even buy stock in the business if you want to and attend shareholder meetings. What's not to like?

You can stick a 1000 minusses on my comment, but I am not making any statement, just asking a question and I am sure no one knows the answer. Not even the SS fanboys.  ;D

You just cant stand anyone saying anything for the sake of argument concerning SS. Its not always meant negative as you say it to be.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 16:34 by Poncke »

Poncke

« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2013, 16:33 »
0
.

« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2013, 16:58 »
+3
SS is growing, our incomes are going up...

You keep saying that, but it is not true for everyone. Mine has been on a steady decline for years. It would probably look worse, but royalty bumps, on demand, and single sales have masked the trajectory by raising revenues.

My bet is still on him buying DT.

That's a scary thought. I'm not sure a lot of good would come out of that for us. I think BS has gotten worse since SS bought them.

« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2013, 17:49 »
0
Quote
Agreed. Scott Braut usually appears....

Hello All,

My apologies for the delay in replying. 

With regards to Bigstock...

Subscriptions are a new product for Bigstock. As everyone knows, subscriptions are a popular way for customers to buy images and a proven way to increase the overall number and variety of downloads of your images. As evidence of that popularity, Shutterstock recently hit a milestone of 250 million downloads. Customers like subscriptions because they both fulfill their needs and provide them with some flexibility and creative freedom. Almost every "top tier" stock image provider in our space now supports subscriptions for that reason.     

We're proud of the fact that the Shutterstock royalty structure has fundamentally remained the same for many years, though we have added new products.  In fact, a little over a year ago, we made price increases that brought up video royalties.  We also introduced new image licensing products that are now generating royalties of up to $120 per download.  In parallel, the team has launched numerous new features for contributors, such as a contributor profile pages, keywording tools, a "contributor success guide," the "Viewfinder Challenge" contest, a new signup process, "featured contributor" newsletters, new search interfaces to find your images, mobile apps and more. We are highly dedicated to maintaining a healthy and positive relationship with our contributors. We hope that our continued commitment to contributors comes through in everything we do. 

The Bigstock team has two goals.  The first is to continue to grow the business by providing customer-friendly purchase options.  The second -- the goal for the new royalty model -- is to stay competitive and fair while avoiding royalty adjustments in the future.  This product is targeted at Bigstock customers and this is the first time subscriptions will appear on the Bigstock site.  The team is going to be monitoring how customers respond to subscriptions and they'll be sensitive to contributor earnings at the same time. 

We appreciate the feedback and take it seriously. Everyone is looking forward to growing Bigstock into one of your best earners and the plan is to keep you informed and consider your feedback along the way.

Best,

Scott
VP Content
Shutterstock

« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2013, 18:03 »
+2
SS and BigStock as we know are both stock agencies, they have very similar collections and more important the "bridge program" helped the top sellers to be mirrored at BigStock too, how can you keep/increase buyers at SS and still making them to buy at BigStock? I am really having a hard time to understand why they will keep purchasing plans at SS while they have the same collection at BigStock for less money (not to mention our share)

Poncke

« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2013, 18:04 »
0
Thanks a lot Scott. It seems there is no need to worry  for the future of SS then, for now. It is very much appreciated the way you communicate and indeed take away concerns at early stages. Keep up the good work. Thanks again.

« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2013, 18:11 »
0
Thanks Scott.  I'll see if BigStock revises the subs commission levels targets in 6 months time.  I'd rather have an incentive to reach an achievable target, like we have with SS.  Hopefully SS and BigStock will stay interested in keeping us motivated to produce new microstock images.  Some of the other sites have made it unsustainable for me and I'm now producing far less microstock images than I used to.

« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2013, 18:32 »
+4
SS and BigStock as we know are both stock agencies, they have very similar collections and more important the "bridge program" helped the top sellers to be mirrored at BigStock too, how can you keep/increase buyers at SS and still making them to buy at BigStock? I am really having a hard time to understand why they will keep purchasing plans at SS while they have the same collection at BigStock for less money (not to mention our share)

I think it is key to mention that the SS bridge to BS program will make it easier to find quality images at BS because SS has hand picked quality ports with quality images to participate in the bridge program.

Scott, as a buyer why would I continue to buy images at SS when I can find them more quickly and efficiently at BS and because they are cheaper on BS why would I buy them at SS instead?  Most buyers that I know are aware of all the sites and we routinely compare pricing between those sites.

« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2013, 18:36 »
+3
I have to say, after the introduction of the RC schedule and subs over at BS and cutting referrals, my thoughts about Jon are no longer 100% positive. I think if SS follows the rest, BS, 123, IS, etc, by squeezing contributors, it will be the end of civilization in stock.

I am still on the fence, and with great anticipation I await SS next move.

I was never really part of the Oringer cult of personality.  I respect what he's done, but share your skepticism about what direction things at SS and BigStock are headed in now. 

« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2013, 18:42 »
+2

The entire BigStock statement strikes me as a half-baked idea from an under-researched junior employee, most likely an intern on 'work experience'.


Yeah, that's what a lot of us thought about the Getty Google thing too, when it first surfaced.  We were wrong.

« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2013, 19:02 »
+16
The Bigstock team has two goals.  The first is to continue to grow the business by providing customer-friendly purchase options.  The second -- the goal for the new royalty model -- is to stay competitive and fair while avoiding royalty adjustments in the future.  This product is targeted at Bigstock customers and this is the first time subscriptions will appear on the Bigstock site.  The team is going to be monitoring how customers respond to subscriptions and they'll be sensitive to contributor earnings at the same time. 

Hello Scott,
For the life of me I cannot understand why you didn't turn Bigstock into something innovative, for example a site with premium images (like iStock's Vetta collection). Instead you chose to play only in the lower-end segment of the market, compete with yourselves for the same type of customers, set up a hamster wheel for contributors, etc. Boring! To my mind Bigstock is a weird site, I don't think it offers anything significant that Shutterstock doesn't, it is just some kind of (distorting) mirror. I don't think anybody would have a problem if it suddenly ceased to exist, that's why if I were in your shoes I would try to turn BS into something completely different from SS and attract a different kind of customers.

If you do a similar thing with royalties on SS I will quit microstock or if the stocksy site goes online and accepts me I will move my images there (they would be exclusive). At the moment I must say I am disappointed with Shutterstock. It seems like you have run out of creative ideas.
Setting up a hamster wheel for contributors is not innovative at all. Istock was the first to come up with this and look where it got them.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 19:17 by Snufkin »

« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2013, 19:08 »
+2

The second -- the goal for the new royalty model -- is to stay competitive and fair while avoiding royalty adjustments in the future. 

How can your goal be avoiding royalty adjustments in the future if you are going to adjust them every year?

« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2013, 19:26 »
+8
The Bigstock team has two goals.  The first is to continue to grow the business by providing customer-friendly purchase options.  The second -- the goal for the new royalty model -- is to stay competitive and fair while avoiding royalty adjustments in the future.  This product is targeted at Bigstock customers and this is the first time subscriptions will appear on the Bigstock site.  The team is going to be monitoring how customers respond to subscriptions and they'll be sensitive to contributor earnings at the same time. 

Hello Scott,
For the life of me I cannot understand why you didn't turn Bigstock into something innovative, for example a site with premium images (like iStock's Vetta collection). Instead you chose to play only in the lower-end segment of the market, compete with yourselves for the same type of customers, set up a hamster wheel for contributors, etc. Boring! To my mind Bigstock is a weird site, I don't think it offers anything significant that Shutterstock doesn't, it is just some kind of (distorting) mirror. I don't think anybody would have a problem if it suddenly ceased to exist, that's why if I were in your shoes I would try to turn BS into something completely different from SS and attract a different kind of customers.

If you do a similar thing with royalties on SS I will quit microstock or if the stocksy site goes online and accepts me I will move my images there (they would be exclusive). At the moment I must say I am disappointed with Shutterstock. It seems like you have run out of creative ideas.
Setting up a hamster wheel for contributors is not innovative at all. Istock was the first to come up with this and look where it got them.
I agree. If BS had done something like this, I would have uploaded some of my better images. As it is, I will remove all my images. I hope this doesn't sound arrogant, but I'm confident I would make more money the premium way, than I would the cheap way.

« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2013, 19:55 »
0

I agree. If BS had done something like this, I would have uploaded some of my better images. As it is, I will remove all my images. I hope this doesn't sound arrogant, but I'm confident I would make more money the premium way, than I would the cheap way.

Yeah, I just wish there were more sites like that out there as options. Nobody wants to abandon the old micro ways though. It's a shame.

EmberMike

« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2013, 23:30 »
+1
Scott, thanks for chiming in on this.

My ongoing concern with the Bigstock subscription program is the royalty rate schedule being used. It's extremely ambitious. Even on Shutterstock today, achieving those kinds of numbers to get the corresponding rates would be impressive. And the idea that these rates will be achievable can only mean one of two things: That the Bigstock team really does believe that they will be rivaling Shutterstock in sales volume in the near future, or that they know these numbers aren't going to be achievable and set the milestones as they are with the intention of never having to pay out $0.38 royalties.

Obviously we all hope it's the former, but you can understand my skepticism here.

Quick question: Is there a timeframe in mind for when certain subscription volume goals need to be met and when those milestone numbers might be reviewed? Could we be looking at, say, 6 months or more before the Bigstock team can take a look at where they are and decide whether to modify the numbers?



« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2013, 12:57 »
0
Hello Mike,

Thanks.  The team will be monitoring subscription volume and usage on an ongoing basis.  Bridge to Bigstock contributors are guaranteed the highest subscription download royalty of 38 cents per download for six months.  Changes can't be guaranteed, but the team is sensitive to contributor royalties. If any changes are expected based on how Bigstock customers are responding to subscriptions, they would be communicated in advance during that time period or at the end of the six months.  The goal is to have both fair and competitive rates while also minimizing the possibility of having to adjust rates in the future.

Best,

Scott 
VP Content
Shutterstock


Based on SS growth and it's revenue the rates it is paying contributors leave it in the position to be more than competitive.  Therefor why would you set numbers for us @ BS that we all know aren't going to be fair or achievable?

http://www.nysemagazine.com/shutterstock?page=1

Jon Oringer founded Shutterstock to provide an easier, more affordable way for businesses to license images. His challenge now: to become a revenue leader.

"With more than half a million customers spanning 150 countries, and at two downloads per second generating an average $2.26 per download the company expects total revenue to increase by 37 percent in 2012, to $165 million. It expects revenue of approximately $206 million in 2013, up 25 percent more."

« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2013, 18:42 »
+3
Hello Mike,

Thanks.  The team will be monitoring subscription volume and usage on an ongoing basis.  Bridge to Bigstock contributors are guaranteed the highest subscription download royalty of 38 cents per download for six months.  Changes can't be guaranteed, but the team is sensitive to contributor royalties. If any changes are expected based on how Bigstock customers are responding to subscriptions, they would be communicated in advance during that time period or at the end of the six months. The goal is to have both fair and competitive rates while also minimizing the possibility of having to adjust rates in the future.

Best,

Scott 
VP Content
Shutterstock

If you want to have fair and competitive royalty rates, there is a very easy way to achieve this: Give everyone at least the rate they receive on SS.
If you for whatever reason want to implement a scheme that is based on recent sales numbers (e.g. number of licenses sold in the last year), than take the current SS rates as the floor for everyone. That would give everyone the chance to earn more without the possibility to drop to a lower rate.

Setting completely unrealistic goals (that will lead to lower rates than on SS for everyone) is neither competitive nor fair.

« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2013, 19:00 »
+2
The goal is to have both fair and competitive rates while also minimizing the possibility of having to adjust rates in the future.

I think I get this.   "Competitive" means paying the same as or less than the other agencies.  A "competitive" rate is, by definition, "fair".  There's a chance it might not go lower, at least not right away. 

Heckuva pep talk.  I'm stoked!


« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 19:27 by stockastic »

« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2013, 17:31 »
0
Hello Mike,

Thanks.  The team will be monitoring subscription volume and usage on an ongoing basis.  Bridge to Bigstock contributors are guaranteed the highest subscription download royalty of 38 cents per download for six months.  Changes can't be guaranteed, but the team is sensitive to contributor royalties. If any changes are expected based on how Bigstock customers are responding to subscriptions, they would be communicated in advance during that time period or at the end of the six months.  The goal is to have both fair and competitive rates while also minimizing the possibility of having to adjust rates in the future.

Best,

Scott 
VP Content
Shutterstock

Please address the obvious referral program update issues.

« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2013, 18:26 »
0
Thanks for responding to the questions here Scott.  It's always appreciated.

« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2013, 19:00 »
+9
The fact that Scott came to post a response here is much appreciated.

The content of his message is the worst kind of PR spin and didn't address a number of key issues. Some mumble speak about sensitivity to contributor issues and "monitoring subscription volume" neatly sidesteps the utter fantasy of any more than one or two contributors ever (i.e. lifetime) making 50K downloads on Bigstock.

I didn't fall off the turnip truck - I've been around all these sites for a number of years. They are lowballing the subscription prices - undercutting Shutterstock - and even more heavily lowballing contributors.

The responses from Bigstock support to the "happy shiny" notice announcing all of this were very polite but content free.

There are a number of us who are not part of the Bridge to Bigstock program for whom the only possibility of an upside in this fiasco is that it will not succeed and they'll withdraw subscriptions as fast as they withdrew cash pricing.

If it does succeed and subscriptions migrate from SS to Bigstock, by the time the 6 months are up, those of you feeling all happy about the absence of any threat from this move (because it's only Bigstock and they're such a low-income player) are going to see your 38 cents get cut significantly.

This seems like a replay of the struggle when iStock/Getty introduced the Partner Program - all the talk about separate markets and separate customers. It's the same pool of customers - as far as I can see no one is bringing in a new set of buyers, just trying to swipe buyers from other agencies. Or, in the case of Shutterstock, migrate buyers to the lower-cost subscriptions at Bigstock.

I guess I'm resigned to the reality that the "agencies" are just indifferent to the relentless lowering of royalty rates - and I know SS's income per month for many of us has been very healthy, but if I were paid there based on the Bigstock rate chart, that would all come to a screeching halt.

Once upon a time, you didn't have to be a factory to be able to be successful. You didn't have to be full time. These types of annual hamster wheel royalty schemes change all of that - and in the process transfer a nice chunk of the income total from the contributors to the agency.

I acknowledge the list of nice little contributor features that have been added, but (a) it's not even close to the stats I'd like to see and (b) these things aren't a substitute for royalties (and introducing them in a discussion about royalty payments suggests the sort of distraction one does with toddlers - ooh, shiny).

Shutterstock has refused to say that the Bigstock royalty scheme will not be implemented at Shutterstock. Talking of "minimizing the possibility of having to adjust rates in the future" can be translated to avoiding having to decrease rates - no one would be worried about SS adjusting rates upward! That's something they used to do and I don't remember anyone being upset about it.

For me, even if it means the end of being a microstock contributor, if my rates at Shutterstock are cut, I'm pulling my port and closing my account - #248. Without an opt-out for subscriptions, I'm pulling by Bigstock port March 15th.

I know Shutterstock doesn't care, but I've had enough of being effed about by agency after agency.

« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2013, 19:47 »
0

If it does succeed and subscriptions migrate from SS to Bigstock, by the time the 6 months are up, those of you feeling all happy about the absence of any threat from this move (because it's only Bigstock and they're such a low-income player) are going to see your 38 cents get cut significantly.

I guess I see something like this being the eventual outcome anyway. Whether it happens this year, in 5 year, this way or another way... I can't really say, but I'm preparing for it. I guess if it happens sooner rather than later it will just speed up those plans.

« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2013, 20:05 »
+6
SS sees itself as being in the image search business - Oringer has said as much.  The plan is to drive the price of an image as low as possible - basically by finding the point where photographers start to pull major portfolios - and instead make money from 'fees' for 'services'.  They have to pay a commission on the sale price of an image - but not on whatever they charge a customer to help him find that image. 

This is basically what subscriptions - and other new pricing schemes - accomplish: they break the commission model and replace it with arbitrary, token payments to photographers.   Increasingly the agencies will make their profits from upfront charges to "use their search tools" while reducing the so-called purchase price to a small piece of the transaction.   

I think we photographers are losing track of how the big agencies simply see us as an obstacle to their growth in profitablity, and intend to route around us by changing the game from "product" to "service".




« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 20:22 by stockastic »


 

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